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Two-time U.S. Open champ to play in AAPT Champs

1/6/2004

SYDNEY, Australia -- Two-time U.S. Open champion Patrick
Rafter will end his yearlong retirement next month by playing in a
doubles match.

He will compete at the AAPT Championships in Adelaide, but the
promoter says the former No. 1 player has ruled out a full-scale
comeback.

Rafter will play with fellow Australian Josh Eagle at the
season-opening event, starting Jan. 5.

Rafter, 30, contacted tournament director Colin Stubs last
weekend to request a wild card, saying he needed match practice for
a Feb. 2 exhibition with Mats Wilander.

"This is an unexpected chance for the people of Adelaide to
show their appreciation to a great Australian," Stubs said
Tuesday.

Rafter retired from the ATP Tour last January following a
12-month break to consider his future. His last official match was
Australia's 3-2 loss to France in the Davis Cup final in December
2001.